I just need a place to vent for a moment. I am VERY open with everyone when setting up a session. I tell them that I'm trying to build up my portfolio, since some day, I plan on going into business. Well, I just got a phone call from one of my good friends who I had the family session with last weekend. She wanted me to take all the photos off my FB page, and my blog, and that she was "disappointed" that I didn't ask first. It all took me by complete surprise. I mentioned to her that the photos were property of me, and that I thought she was aware of the fact that they would get posted. She has the print release which I spelled out that the images were copyrighted by me, and that I reserve the right to post them. I guess she doesn't want them "public" because she's a teacher (though she currently doesn't have a teaching position...). I didn't see anything incriminating in the photos, and don't see the big deal.
There was no arguing or anything, and I took them down, but I'm very disappointed. The whole point of doing them was so that I could display them as my work, not to keep them private. And then, of course, I feel bad that there was the misunderstanding, and that it had to be with a friend. I don't want things awkward between us, and I fear that they will be. I have taken steps to avoid this in the future, and have now spelled it out in my client information that the photos may be posted publicly.
So I guess I'm wondering if anyone has anything else that I need to do to cover my butt. I thought I had, but it seems I didn't.
I am curious to know what others say. I hate that this happened and it seems kind of odd that she would do that knowing that they are property of you now. Weird. I mean, you would think she would have said that in the beginning.
Sadie- mommy to Ruthie & Randy
I guess that's the other thing that bugs me, and I'm confused about. She knew that these pictures would be posted, especially since I did the same thing for her sister when I took her engagement photos. If she didn't want them posted at all, why didn't she say something from the beginning?? It's all my fault though, and I guess I'm the most mad at myself for not having her LITERALLY sign a release. Let's just say that I'm working on that right now, and will be sending it to all of my future clients.
Always, always, even when building a portfolio have them sign a contract of some sort where they fully understand. I am sure someone here who is doing business can help you with the wording.
-El mommy to B & A
Just chug-chug-chugging along.
sounds like this is one of those unfortunate 'live and learn' situations.
I have not personally run into this, but I have made it a point to get people to sign a direct 'photo release' form. And then when I'm ready to share/post the images, I usually will ask again - just to be sure. Now, for me, this has been b/c they are all friends/family and I have tried very hard to avoid those awkward moments.
I did have one friend come back and say, after images had been posted, that they changed their mind and wanted them down. I was sorely disappointed as the pics were kick boxing pics of Logan that happened to have their boy in them too, but I did it anyway. I did tell them that I had hoped to keep the images in my printed portfolio, especially since they had already signed the release and they were OK with that - they just didn't want it on-line.
I hope that, since you took the images down when asked (even if it sounds to me like legally you don't HAVE to take them down) there won't be any lingering resentment.
hang in there!
Sorry you have to deal with that, Stephanie.
You did cover your butt...the problem lies solely with the fact that these are friends. You totally have the legal right to use those photos however you outlined in the model release. It STINKS that your friend is taking advantage of you in this way. If you want to use them, you have the legal right to....but your right, it would probably strain the friendship. This is part of the reason why I always charge friends. I give them a huge discount, but I always charge, that way they know I'm not just someone who they can count on for free photography anytime they want.
OOPS, just saw that you didn't actually have her sign the release. Yup, definitely have all clients sign that release.
Wife to Rich~ 8/16/03 Mom to Nathan~ 9/30/07